New Multi-Touch Prototype, Multi-Touch Tablet PC Coming

What looks like some huge news gets casually mentioned in descriptions for the upcoming SIGGRAPH graphics conference and on the website of JazzMutant, the developers of multi-touch hardware controllers Lemur and Dexter: Jazzmutant is proud to have been selected by the Siggraph Emerging Technologies Committee in San Diego to demo a new prototype device for digital imaging involving multi-touch control. This solution will go beyond mere finger-drawing and clearly illustrate a new way to interact and improve productivity with drawing and video editing software. Furthermore, the solution presented will be the very first multi-touch enabled Tablet PC shown to the …

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MacBook Speed Bump: Still a Fantastic Mobile Musician Bargain

Apple has made a minor upgrade to its MacBook line — same price, same lineup, but improved offerings. The $1099 white model is actually a pretty great deal now: 2.0GHz / 1 GB RAM / 80 GB HD means you get a pretty solid model out of the box. Upgrade to 1.5 or 2 GB RAM, and I think you’d be very happy, even running relatively intensive audio processing. As always, consider an external FireWire drive if you’re doing any significant multitracking. (Spend extra if you need DVD burning or, you know, the color black.) This could mean the previous …

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How to Kill Windows Vista Bottlenecks: Pt. II, Stop the Disk Churning

Two common services are the biggest culprits for “disk churning” behavior in Vista, and they’ll be familiar from XP. Now, tame that disk access! A common complaint of users who have just installed Vista is that the disk starts churning endlessly. Any kind of frequent disk access on the same volume on which you have stored samples or audio content can cause major problems with recording and playback — even worse if you’re using disk-intensive software like samplers or Ableton Live. These problems aren’t entirely unique to Vista, but disk indexing seems expanded in Vista and both may be more …

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How to Run Ableton Live on Apple TV; Live Music + Visual Apple TV

Imagine the Apple TV as live music and visual instrument, and not just a way of watching archived Battlestar Galactica? Our friend Jeff Gambera has been busy hacking his Apple TV for just such unusual purposes. He’s gotten the real-time audio and music workstation Ableton Live working; even the demo song runs. (Plenty of people use Ableton Live with equal or lesser hardware; the aTV should easily beat many older G4s.) This is big news for one primary reason: it means the Apple TV is capable handling multi-channel audio with real-time virtual instruments and time stretching. That makes the ATV …

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Pricey Computers and Cheap Glitch-Making Thrills

Gadget sites usually stay away from pro audio, but a no-compromise, three-display, $11,000+ Core 2 Extreme BTO PC from Altium can apparently get even Engadget’s blood pumping. Maybe they need a bigger machine to edit podcasts? Since we prefer cheap thrills here, look instead to Dan Nigrin’s just-released Major Malfunction plug-in for Ableton Live. (Mac/Universal, $10) Watch for the CDM review next week, and after that, maybe my own attempts to build Pluggo plug-ins in Max/MSP. Also on the software watch: SynthMaster is a new semi-modular plug-in for Windows.

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NAMM: Apple + Apogee Use ExpressCard to Take Pro Studio Audio Mobile

There’s a certain company — don’t want to name names, but it makes very popular products and rhymes with “Migidesign” — that sells decent audio converters and DSP systems at very expensive prices. They lock you into a single software solution, and when you want to go mobile, you have to give up all the pro-level audio equipment or lug studio-size gear with you. Native alternatives have always let you choose your audio system, and that’s a good thing. This year, Apple worked with Apogee to allow users of Logic and other native platforms to use what most people feel …

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Macworld: Axiotron ModBook Mac Tablet Hands-on

For the record, this is not my hand. If it were my hand, you’d see me tweaking Max/MSP or something. To whomever may own this hand: sorry I didn’t have you sign a release on the tablet. -PK Tablets have always held a special, niche appeal for musicians. For notation, they’re invaluable: you can prop a tablet up on a music stand and use computer notation software in place of manuscript paper. But they’re quite nice for live music, too: tap synth parameters directly, and control performances onstage. Until now, though, there has been no easy way to get a …

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Commodore 64 Orchestra @ Vintage Computer Festival: Massively Parallel C64 Music Action!

Quick: you’re building a massively parallel, powerful supercomputer cluster! What computer will you use as a node? Why, the hugely-powerful Commodore 64, of course, silly! And then you’ll write music for your sixteen Commodore machines: The Vintage Computer Festival has selected Commodore 64 Orchestra to be the first to [sic] the historic Commodore 64 Parallel Super-Computer. The project is slated for completion for exhibition at VCF 6.0, where the 20th anniversary of the Commodore 64 will be celebrated. The first prototype will utilize 16 Commodore 64 machines in sync with a musical application that Commodore 64 Orchestra will program to …

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